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#382182 - 09/02/02 02:45 AM Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Larry Williams Offline
Larry Williams  Offline

Serious Contributor

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Santa Clarita, CA USA
Here's a little tip I picked up from a bass player friend of mine to help minimize finger squeaks on your acoustic guitar when recording. It's superbly simple:

Wash your hands before doing the session. It removes any accumulated oils on the hands which contribute to excessive amounts of finger squeaks.

Certain mics will also tend to emphasize finger squeaks and you can try either changing mics (if you have more than one), or moving the mic a bit. Sometimes moving where it is pointed by an inch or so can make a very audible difference.

If you need to EQ finger squeaks out a bit (either by automation or as general EQ), I've found that they mostly reside in the 4-6K hz region. Dipping the EQ 2-4db in that area will lessen the squeaks.

I've also used automation to bring the level down JUST in the places where there's a squeak, although automating EQ is just about as effective and tends to be less noticeable.


#382183 - 09/02/02 11:38 AM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Mike Dunbar Offline
Mike Dunbar  Offline

JPF Mentor

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 8,574
Nashville Tennessee
Someone should design a stand-alone "de-squeaker", It could sell.

You've got to know your limitations. I don't know what your limitations are. I found out what mine were when I was twelve. I found out that there weren't too many limitations, if I did it my way. -Johnny Cash

It's only music.

Mike Dunbar Music

#382184 - 09/05/02 11:51 AM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,096
TrumanCoyote Offline
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TrumanCoyote  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 2,096
Here's another way to deal with finger squeaks: learn to love them ;-)

#382185 - 09/09/02 04:35 AM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,001
Jody Whitesides Offline
Jody Whitesides  Offline

Top 100 Poster

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,001
Park City, UT, USA
I've read that some studio's will stock vegatable oil to lightly rub on the strings for players that have problems. The oil coats the strings and prevents squeaks. But at the same time kinda kills the strings vibrance.

There is now a product that I believe is called Fretease that also does something similar only you can't cook with it (I mean food).

I agree, learn to love the squeaks as that's what sets apart live playing from sampled or phony guitar parts.


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
#382186 - 09/10/02 02:49 PM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Larry Williams Offline
Larry Williams  Offline

Serious Contributor

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Santa Clarita, CA USA
Yes, I've used Fretease (I remember it being called "Fingerease", but maybe there's more than one product available). It definitely makes the strings and fingerboard very slippery - personally, I find them TOO slippery.

WARNING: Don't use it on maple fingerboards!!!! It will penetrate the lacquer and make your fingerboard look like a well-played '52 Strat (well...maybe if that's the look you want)...

Oh, and one other thing I've used to reduce finger squeaks is a de-esser plugin...for those of us who feel a few minor string squeaks go a long way.


[This message has been edited by Lwilliam (edited 09-10-2002).]

#382187 - 10/10/02 07:26 AM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 2,558
Tom Tracy Offline
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Tom Tracy  Offline
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Posts: 2,558
Lumberport,WV, USA
Do they still make flat-wound strings? They were supposed to make it easier to slide up and down the neck eliminating the string squeeks, but I always thought they sounded thick and plunky, so I only ever bought oone pack. If you like the thick and plunky sound, you might want to check them out - if they still make them.

#382188 - 10/18/02 01:19 PM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 237
songman Offline
Serious Contributor
songman  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 237
Sunland, Ca
Over the years I can recall certain tunes that I cannot imagine without the squeaks! I wouldn't change them for the world. Squeaks might even add a certain personality to an acoustic performance, a certain reality if you will. As long as they're subtle, I guess they are cool. I can't imagine someone literally "squeaking" through an entire song. If that's the case, you'd better check yourself out and wash your hands or something! Regards, Tj Sullivan

TJ Sullivan
#382189 - 11/08/02 12:27 PM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 5,575
Little_stevie_b Offline
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Little_stevie_b  Offline
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Joined: May 2001
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Hickory, North Carolina USA
Ok, I'll get it right this time and hit the reply button instead of the new topic button. Flatwound strings unless you just have to have a brassy sound. Especially on bass. Absolutely no squeaking at all.

#382190 - 11/28/02 10:27 AM Re: Finger Squeaks - a couple of tips  
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20
Marc Offline
Casual Observer
Marc  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2001
Posts: 20
Kawartha Lakes, Ontario Canada
Elixir Strings are very good at helping to control the problem. Jaco Pastorius was rumored to eat fried chicken and not wash his fingers before recording or performing, who can knock his sound ??? I heard "Elixir" and she likes it...

Mostly the squeaks are best addressed by improving the fretting technique. I've had the pleasure of having had some studies with Don Ross and I would have to say that proper left hand technique is probably THE most lasting thing I learned from him. It's something I ALWAYS place first (technically) in my own compositions and something I always make sure to pass on to students of my own. Once you get the picky parts figured out about string muting while fretting and making sure to nail the frets' 'sweet spot' every time, then you will not have to make any unnecessary left hand movements leading to the squeaks and pings.

Why keep trying to disguise the problem when a bit of hard work can eliminate the problem altogether ?

Restless Voyager

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